Laos is a small country but surprisingly diverse Southeast Asian nation, which is one of the favorite tourist destinations. It is rich with mountainous terrain, traces of French colonial architecture, Buddhist monasteries, and dusty towns. Laos is a charming place to spend your vacation along with your loved ones, and you can have best Laos travel packages from many reputed tourism organizers, such as Indochina Travel Value.
The best time to visit Laos and some Laos travel guide information
Laos has an entirely distinct climate seasons but the best time for Laos travel is during November and February. During this period, the day is warm and nights are cold. After February, summer begins to creep in, and the temperature might rise to 40 degrees. Although you can travel all year round, the roads can be difficult condition during the rainy season. The countryside basks in watery green lush after the rains which itself is a breathtaking sight to watch.
Weather and climate
February to May is the hot season when the temperature rises to 40 degrees. Like all other extreme south Asian countries, Laos also experience scorching summer. April and May are the most humid months where real heat is at its peak. The rainy seasons starts by May end and stretches up to September. Though the rain might not be constant, occasional downpours can expect through these months.
October to January is the winter season where nights are chilling. It is advisable to consult with your travel agent, Indochina Travel Value for arranging suitable Laos travel packages, for the right reason, meeting all your requirements because they are best people who can organize your tour program efficiently.
Laos Culture and Laos Travel Guide
You cannot believe that a small country with low population can have this much diverse ethnic groups until you reach Laos. Although a low populous country, it is home to more than 68 different ethnic groups. Based on culture, religion, and language, they are categorized into 3 main groups Lao Thing is the tribal group which occupies around 22% of the total population. They stay on the mountaintops of the country. Other groups are Lao Soung, Yao, and Hmong.
Buddhism is the traditional religion of Laos and 90% of the inhabitants out of the total population are followers of the Buddhist faith. Unlike other religions, Buddhism has a strong influence on the daily life of local people. The religion is more connected with their lifestyle. Laos being a communist country, has still given freedom to people to observe their own beliefs.
Both Vietnamese and Chinese foods have great influence Laotian cuisine. Sticky rice is the main staple and most of the foods consumed by using chopsticks. Soup is a companion item with every meal. Dog, fish, chicken, beef, and buffalo are common meats, and pork is not much famous.
When you are traveling to any foreign country, it is important to know the do's and doesn't’s rules. First-time travelers might find it difficult to cope up with the culture of Laos. Knowing some basics things will help you to get through unexpected embarrassment.
Do’s and dont's
• Laotian considers head like a sacred part of the body, so please avoid touching anybody’s head.
• Likewise, feet are an inferior part of the body. So, do not place your feet on the furniture or food because Laotian will consider it as a disrespectful action.
• Whenever you are visiting a local home, do not sit in a seat, which is higher than that of the host. If the host sits on the floor, you must also do the same.
• In some temples, women are required to wear a skirt on top of your bottom wear. The temple authorities will provide clothes.
• Keep your voice low and you have to speak politely whenever talking to locals.
• Displaying affection publically is not a morally acceptable practice in Laos. Laotian are conservative when it comes to such things. So avoid holding hands and showing affection to your spouse in public.
• Take off your shoes while visiting local homes and temples. Some shops might also ask you to do the same.
• Avoid buying expensive Buddhist antiques from local shops because there are chances of people selling fake antiques or stolen items from the temples.
You can wear anything comfortable during Laos tour, but it is also important to dress modestly at the same time. Showing too much of skin is a big no in many Asian countries. Women must cover their body appropriately especially when going to public places. Whenever you want to go to waterfall or rivers, you must wear at least a t-shirt and shorts. Women must strictly avoid the use of bikinis and revealing swimsuits. Climate can be humid during the daytime, so carrying lightweight clothing might help during this season. If you are traveling to Laos during wintertime, do not forget to take the winter gears as nights can be freezing.
Give respect and take respect
Laos is a Buddhist country with a lot of monasteries and temples around every city. Due to the same reason, you will spot many monks everywhere during Laos tour. It is obvious to feel curious and to snap a picture with them. Snapping a picture without even asking them is apparently bad manner, so take prior permission before you try to snap. You need to show a high amount of respect whenever you are interacting with a monk. If they are of any works, do not approach to take a selfie with them. Wait for a while until they get free and with proper permission, you might have your wish.
Nop – the formal greeting gesture:
Nop is the formal greeting, which is a gesture of holding your palms together in praying style. Handshaking is also a way of greeting, but Nop is a more polite way to greet a person. “Sabai Dee" is the Lao word for Hello. Learning some basic greeting words in Lao is also very much exciting and can help you to win the heart of the locals. Understanding an alien culture and learning new vocabularies are always a thrilling experience when you venture for Laos tour.
You need to carry all your special medicines because you need not get it in Laos. If you are spending more weeks in Laos, it is advised to get a Hepatitis A and B vaccination. You can also take anti-malaria medications after talking with a tropical medical practitioner. You need to carry all your special medicines because; probably you will not get it in Laos. If you are spending more weeks in Laos, you should take a Hepatitis A and B vaccination. You can also take anti-malaria medications after talking with a tropical medical practitioner. These are important medical tips that you have to look into when you plan for a Laos travel packages. You can have more information from, Indochina Travel Value, who is experts in handling your travel requirements.
Visa regulations and formalities
For taking a visa for Laos travel, you will need a passport with minimum 6-month's validity. If you hold a passport from any of ASEAN member countries, you can travel to Laos without a visa. On arrival visa with 30 days of duration is available at international airports. Visa procedures will not take much time, and it costs around 30-45$. Indochinavalue will help you with the visa formalities and will get you a travel visa in advance.
In case if you are overstaying in the country after visa expiry, you have to give the penalty fee as per the government rules. You can easily get the visa extensions by contacting the immigration office. The maximum duration of extension is about 15 days. Make your Laos travel a pleasure by adhering to the visa and travel rules.
Currency of Laos
Kip is the currency used in the country and 1USD equals 8000kip. Rates might vary according to the exchange rates during the time you travel. USD is acceptable in most places like restaurants and shops, but it is best to keep some Kip with you so that you can use it for local purchases. You can find many ATM booths and banks in almost all places across cities so that you can easily withdraw money. While buying expensive items, it is best to use dollars as carrying a lot of Kips is not convenient.
Laos tourism a fantastic opportunity to experience the world distinct from yours. Laos is a much safer country for tourists unlike some of the countries in the west. Experienced Laos travel guide will give you a memorable experience along with quality service. We give you a thorough understanding of places and cultures rather than just showing you the places.
How to reach Laos
Travelling by flight is the best way to reach Laos depending upon your convenience. Indochina travel has many Laos travel packages, which offers an appropriate mode of transportation to each city. There are 4 international airports where you can get on arrival visa. Wattay, Pakse, Savannakhet and Luang Prabang are international airports, which has regular services from the different part of the world. As Laos stretched across the Mekong River, you might have to take ferry rides when traveling to some locations, which is a convenient and enjoyable mode of transport.
The bus is the standard form of transport, but it is not a good choice in case of long distance travel. Minivans and cabs are plenty in Laos which offers a more comfortable trip. Locals get around in a truck like a vehicle, which is Songthaew. You will also be able to rent motorbikes and bicycles to travel around the city.
Things to do
All the major Lao festival happens in Luang Prabang. The largest celebration amongst all is Lao New year, which happens in April. The festival goes on for a full week with a lot of contest and traditional functions. Some of the must see places in Luang Prabang are 32 shimmering temples, Mount Phousi, and Kuang Si waterfalls. There are a lot of bars and café to explore the nightlife of the city. You can also go shopping for items handcrafted by tribal people. You can find the landscapes of the city crafted beautifully on the Kayaking and rafting. Most of the Laos travel packages includes Kayaking trip, which is a perfect holiday plan.
Must see places in Laos
Luang Prabang- Jewel in Lao’s crown
Luang Prabang was the old capital of Laos and tagged as the most charming Southeast Asian city. Remnants of colonial architecture, ancient temples and old French houses make it a must-visit place. It was established as a top world heritage site back in 1995 and since that time visitors have been pouring into the city. So now, you know why the city is being called as "Jewel in Laos crown.”
How to get there
You can reach the city via Luang Prabang International Airport, located 4km away from the city center. Both Bangkok and Lao Airlines have daily services. There are slow boats services to the city for which you need to buy special tickets. Trains, taxis, and bus services are another mode of transportation.
Vientiane- the capital of Laos
Vientiane is the capital city of Laos, filled with remnants of French colonial culture and Buddhist temples. It is a city which stands as a representation of the golden 16th century when the country was in its full glory. The city is home to some of the significant monuments having high national importance. Vientiane offers a lot of excellent restaurants and cafes which adds a great French air, especially in design and architecture.
How to get there
Reaching directly to Vientiane is easy by taking a flight from neighbor countries or by crossing the friendship bridge from Thailand. Train service is also available from the same place. Wattay international airport is about 6 km from city center, and you can have regular small airline services on a daily basis.
Things to do
The Luang stupa is the most sacred monument, which is an icon of Buddhism. The stupa was built in 1566 when Vientiane became the capital of Laos replacing Luang Prabang. The monument is said to have obtained a bone and hair from Gautama Buddha. That Luang Festival is one of the significant festivals in the country according to Buddhist beliefs. Phou Khao Khouay National Park, Wat Si Muang, Vang Vieng Hill tribe villages, Wat Sisaket, That Luang monument, the presidential palace, Patuxai and Nam Ngum Lake are some of the important places in the city are famous locations; you must include in your Laos travel packages.
Vang Vieng- the party destination of Laos
How to get there
It takes around 8 hours to reach Vang Vieng from Luang Prabang by bus. The roads are in a good condition so road journey will be comfortable enough. Bus tickets for tourists are available in advance which let you travel around the city comfortably. Taxi and car rental services are also available to make your journey comfortable.
Things to do
Vang Vieng is the favorite destination of tourists in Laos travel because it is the ultimate party destination of the Country. It is popularly known as the wildest part town, so party animals love the place. Nam Song River tubing trip is one of the cool activities in the tour. Your travel guide will help you with cave tubing if it is the first time for you. It is an excellent opportunity to experience the dark caves which otherwise would be a little scary.
Hot air balloon tour is another adventure activity which you can enjoy in the city. Enjoying the sunset view from above is a magnificent experience. Jungle party is another big event which takes place in Vang Vieng. KaengNyui waterfall, Phapoak, Water cave, and blue lagoon are some of the favorite destination in Vang Vieng.
Travel packages for Laos tour by Indochinavalue
Laos and Vietnam Holiday
Laos and Vietnam holiday is a 12-day Laos travel is like winning yourself a double jackpot. You can explore both Vietnam and Laos with this perfect packed travel plan. The scenery of stand-tall mountains and rice paddies gives the cities a great blend of both culture and nature. Choose the trip to learn about Vietnamese and Laos cultures.
The tour starts from Luan Prabang and ends in Ho Chi Minh. The other destinations included are Pak Ou Caves, Xiengmene, Khuang Si waterfall, Ban Chan, Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hue and Hoi An. You will also be going cruising in Halong bay and spend a romantic night there. Halong Bay is a majestic island which itself is nature's living wonder.
Exploring Laos and Vietnam
The Laos travel package is yet another tour plan, which includes a trip to Both Laos and Vietnam. The tour covers some of the attractive and iconic spots in both countries. It starts from Vientiane and include destinations like Luang Prabang, Pak Ou Caves, Khouangsi Waterfall, Hanoi, Sapa, Topas Ecolodge, Ban Ho village, Halong Bay, Danang, Hoi an, Ho Chi Minh, Cu Chi Tunnels, Cai Be floating market, Can Tho, and Phu Quoc island. Phu Quoc Island is one of the beautiful places in the earth. It holds stunning coastlines, Mountains, and palm trees. Beaches in the island exhibit some different turquoise shades. Sunset is also another spectacular view you should not miss out.
Luang Prabang Highlights
Some people are interested in spending a holiday by partying whereas some look forward to stress-free and peaceful vacation. If you belong to the latter group, and you only have a few days to spend, then this 4 day Laos travel package is for you. The tour includes a visit to ethnic places and local villages. You will also be able to explore Mekong River and the most famous Pak Ou caves. The destinations included are Luang Prabang, Pak Ou Caves, Xiengmene, Khuang Si waterfall, and Ban Chan. The trip also includes a visit to pottery village in Ban Chan which will be a different experience altogether.
Highlights of Laos
Highlights of Laos is a 5 day Laos tour specially designed for people who wants to explore the hidden mysteries of Laos. You will get to know all the famous attractions in the country and will be able to interact with local people. The destinations include Vientiane, Xiengkuang, Plain of Jars, Luang Prabang, and Pak Ou Caves. Plain of Jar is a place famous for its mystery and myths connected with it. It is an archaeological place where hundreds of stone cylinders scattered over the mountain top. It is believed to be made by some ancient tribe 2000 years back. The jar origins remain a mystery until now, and there are a lot of myths connected with the site.
This perfect Laos Travel package literally involves exploring Laos. The tour includes a lot of highlights, and the trip is for 1 week. You will get a chance to visit some of the oldest Buddhist temples and other famous places. The destinations include Vientiane, Prabaht Ponsan, Sala Hin Boun, and Kong Lor Cave. Kong Lor Cave is a limestone cave situated in Phu Hin Bun National Park. Hidden in the wilderness is this cave, which is one of the world’s geological wonder. Through the cave, flows the Nam Hin Bun River so that you need to take a boat ride.
Beautiful Laos Holiday
It is a 5-day Laos travel package which includes 4 nights. The tour includes a visit to elephant camps, sceneries, Mekong River and luscious hillside. You will be doing cruising and hiking along the countryside. The destinations include Vientiane, Vang Vieng, Luang Prabang and Pak Ou Caves. You will also be visiting Wat Sene, the oldest temple that represents the classic architecture of the ancient times.
Best of Luang Prabang
The 5 day Laos travel package is filled with a lot of options to explore Luang Prabang Completely. You will be visiting some of the oldest temples, night market, relaxing at Kuangsi waterfall and having a pleasure trip. The night market is full of orderly stalls where you can buy souvenirs and purely handmade textiles. You will see a lot of things inspired by Buddhism which is a token of their culture and religion. Most of the shop persons will know English, but it is good if you have your Laos travel guide with you. The destinations included are Luang Prabang, Pak Ou Cave, and Kuangsi waterfall.
Family Tour of Laos – Vietnam
Not many people choose Laos or Vietnam as a family destination. Laos is a great place where you can take you family along with you for spending the vacation. It is a safe place for kids and Indochinavalue provide many activities to keep them busy every time. Indochina value will provide a Laos travel guide will ensure the safety of your children and family.
This 21 day Laos-Vietnam tour starts from Ho Chi Minh and ends in Hoi An. The Laos Tour will help you to experience the historical value of the countries along with the local life. Both of the countries have fantastic countryside and a lot of attractions to fascinate you. The other destinations include Cu Chi Tunnels, Tay Ninh, Can Tho, HCMC, Vientiane, Vang Vieng, Luang Prabang, Pak Ou Caves, Hanoi, Sapa, Lao Cai, Topas Ecolodge, Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hue and Hoi An.
As you know, Laos is a major tourist destination in South East Asia, bordering Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, China and Myanmar are spectacular for its amazing culture and wonderful lifestyle. The state symbol, Anusavari Arc de Triomphe, constructed in commemoration of the Laotian soldiers killed during Second World War, Wat That Lung temple, Pha That Luang temple, the Central Stupa of Thap Luang, etc., are beautiful places that will give ever-memorable experience for the rest of your life.
Visiting the National Museum will be another chilling experience, where you will blemish by seeing the artworks and artifacts including the most expensive statue of Buddha, which is a replica of the gold statue of Buddha weighing 50Kg, kept in the central bank treasury due to security reasons. For more details, and Laos travel packages discuss with your travel agent, Indochinavalue, without missing those exciting locations and make your trip a memorable one.